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Sweet Tooth? Here's an awesome way to satisfy your craving

 By Leah Crescenzo, Bija Initiative Health & Wellness Coach

Almost everyone craves sweets. Rather than depending on processed sugar to satisfy cravings, add naturally sweet foods to your daily diet to satisfy your sweet tooth. Did you know that one way to satisfy a sugar craving is to eat sweet root veggies?

Sweet vegetables soothe the internal organs of the body and energize the mind. And because many of these vegetables are root vegetables, they are energetically grounding, which helps to balance out the spaciness people often feel after eating other kinds of sweet foods. Adding in sweet vegetables helps to crowd out less healthy foods in the diet.

Sweet veggies include corn, carrots, onions, beets, winter squashes, sweet potatoes and yams, and also turnips, parsnips and rutabagas. Some veggies don't taste sweet in the mouth (red radishes, daikon, green cabbage and burdock) but have a similar effect on the body in that they maintain blood sugar levels, reduce sweet cravings, and break down animal foods in the body.

A simple way to cook these vegetables is to follow the recipe below that we call Sweet Sensation. It has few ingredients and preparation time is minimal.

Sweet Sensation Recipe

  1. Use one, two, three, four or five of the sweet vegetables mentioned above.
  2. Chop the hardest ones, like carrots and beets, into smaller pieces.
  3. Softer vegetables, like onions and cabbage, can be cut into larger chunks.
  4. Use a medium-sized pot and add enough water to barely cover the vegetables. You may want to check the water level while cooking and add more water if needed. Remember, vegetables on the bottom will get cooked more than the ones on the top. Cook until desired softness. The softer the vegetables get, the sweeter they become.
  5. You may also add any of the following ingredients: spices, salt, seaweed. You can add tofu or a can of beans for extra protein.
  6. When the vegetable cooked to your satisfaction, empty the ingredients into a large bowl, flavor as desired and eat. The leftover cooking water makes a delicious, sweet sauce, and is a healing, soothing tonic to drink by itself.

Other cooking methods include steaming, roasting, stir-frying. They can also be simmered and pureed to create a soup, or you can simply eat them raw, grated in a salad. Be creative!

Courtesy Leah Crescenzo and © Integrative Nutrition

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